By now, nearly everybody knows there is much more to the story. His play has declined over the past few seasons – or at least his production has – and he simply isn’t cap-friendly enough for the Kings to hold on to at this point, with a contract that has five years remaining at $5.75M per. GM Dean Lombardi put his loyalty on full display by opting not to use his amnesty buyout on the 30-year-old center last summer, which was the last time he could do so without any additional cap penalties. Unfortunately, things turned from desperate to dire in January, but a stint in the AHL merely provided the team about $925K in relief, or enough to replace him on the NHL roster with rookie Nick Shore.
As we reported last month in a detailed report on the Kings’ summer to-do list, the real work is about to begin. Lombardi is in Las Vegas today, where he has been joined by GMs from every other team. Having already worked the phones, the in-person pitch to trade Richards is expected to be in full swing. Although a deal of any magnitude is unlikely to happen today, something could happen tomorrow or Thursday, as teams make their final preparations for this weekend’s NHL Draft. The Kings aren’t believed to be willing to include their 2015 first round pick (No. 13 overall) in any deal for Richards. However, other prospects and picks are in play from what MayorsManor has been able to gather.
Assuming there are no takers before the Draft wraps up on Saturday, everything will come down to a stress-filled 48-hour period beginning on Sunday; the NHL’s buyout window closes at 2pm PST on Tuesday, June 30.
Even with the official announcement of next season’s salary cap ceiling being set at $71.4 M, this is not a video game. These are real choices, with each option bringing a myriad of consequences. As a reminder, if they buy him out, the Kings will face a salary cap penalty for the next 10 years (far right column below):
|All dollars in millions|
|salary||original cap hit||savings||new cap hit|
|Buyout total (2/3 contract)||14.67|
|spread over 10 years||1.47|
If you were the GM, what would you be looking to do:
MIKE RICHARDS RELATED CONTENT:
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com